You are here

Public School District Reorganization-Detachment and Attachment of Small Territory Initiated by School Boards

(Wis. Stats. 117.13)


The 1990 law allows the detachment and attachment of a small territory to be initiated by the adoption of a resolution by each school board of two adjoining school districts.

APPLICATION

Wis. Stats. 117.13(1)

This section applies to the board-initiated transfer of small territory. A territory is defined as small if all of the following apply:

  • The assessed valuation of the territory proposed to be transferred, divided by its assessment ratio, is less than seven (7) percent of the equalized valuation of the school district from which it is proposed to be detached, and
  • Less than seven (7) percent of the enrollment of the school district from which the territory is proposed to be detached resides in the territory proposed to be transferred. (Use the most recent 3rd Friday in September or 2nd Friday in January count.)

SCHOOL BOARD ACTION

Wis. Stats. 117.13(2)

The school boards of two (2) adjoining school districts may order territory detached from one of the school districts and attached to the other school district by the adoption, by each of the school boards, of a resolution ordering the detachment and attachment. The resolution shall include a description of the territory sufficiently accurate to determine its location in the school district in which it is located, as certified by the clerk or each city, village or town within which all or any part of the territory is located. It must also include the number of pupils residing in that territory who, on the most recent of the preceding 3rd Friday of September or 2nd Friday of January, were enrolled in the school district from which the territory is proposed to be detached, as certified by the clerk of that school district.

Click on the following link to view or print a sample board-initiated small parcel resolution form.

Prior to adopting a resolution, each school board must give the owners and resident electors of the territory notice of the proposed reorganization and an opportunity to meet with the board to present reasons for or against the proposed transfer.

If the school board of each of the affected school districts adopts a resolution under s. 117.13(2), Wis. Stats., ordering the detachment and attachment, the reorganization shall take effect on the first July 1 after the March 1 following the adoption of the resolutions, unless an appeal is filed.

APPEAL TO PANEL

Wis. Stats. 117.13(3)

A majority of the elector(s) residing in or the owner(s) of 50 percent or more of the territory may appeal the school board's resolution to transfer a small parcel or territory. The appeal shall be filed with the Secretary of the School District Boundary Appeal Board before the March 15 following the adoption of the school board's resolution. Appeals received after March 15 will be rejected as not timely.

Click on the following link to view or print an appeal application form for a hearing before the School District Boundary Appeal Panel.

The Appeal Panel shall evaluate each appeal with the statutory criteria listed in Wis. Stats. 117.15 and issue an order either affirming, denying, or modifying the school board's proposed reorganization. The Appeal Panel's order shall be issued by the June 15 following the filing of the appeal; any transfer granted is effective July 1.

RELATED ISSUES

S.117.25(2), Wis. Stats., states that when territory is detached from one school district and attached to another school district the following apply:

  • Assets and liabilities are assigned to the school districts under s. 66.0235, Wis. Stats., on the effective date of the reorganization. The process may include assets and liabilities being assigned proportionally to the affected school districts based on the ratio of the equalized valuation of the transferred territory to the equalized valuation of all taxable property in the detaching school district {s. 66.0235(2c)(a), Wis. Stats.}.
    Wis. Stats. 66.0235(2c)(b) provides for an alternate procedure to be used wherein the affected school boards adopt identical resolutions stating the agreed-upon division of assets and liabilities. The resolution must pass in each affected school board by a three-fourths vote in favor of the resolution.
    Districts holding state trust fund loans should refer to s. 66.0235(10), Wis. Stats., for the procedure to transfer this debt.
  • Any employee of the school district from which territory is detached who is laid off as a result of the reorganization has priority over other persons, except employees of the school district to which the territory is attached and former employees of that school district who were laid off from that school district, for three (3) years after the effective date of the reorganization for new positions and vacant positions for which he or she is qualified in the school district to which the territory is attached. {s. 117.25 (2)(b)(1), Wis. Stats.}

Any person who wishes to exercise this priority shall notify the school district to which the territory is attached, in writing, that he or she wishes to be considered for any new position or vacant position and shall include in the notice the address to be used by the school district to notify the person of such positions. {s. 117.25 (2)(b)(2), Wis. Stats.}

APPEAL TO CIRCUIT COURT

Wis. Stats. 117.14

Any person aggrieved by an order of the School District Boundary Appeal Board or Appeal Panel may appeal the order to a circuit court within thirty (30) days after copies of the order are filed with the secretary of the board under s. 117.17(2), Wis. Stats. To begin the appeal, the aggrieved person must serve written notice, specifically stating the grounds for the appeal, upon the Secretary of the School District Boundary Appeal Board and file the notice with the clerk of the circuit court of any county in which any of the territory proposed to be detached is located or with the clerk of the circuit court of any county in which any territory of the school district to which the territory is proposed to be attached is located.

WHAT THE STATUTES SAY WITH REGARD TO NOTIFICATION

The school district clerk of a district adopting a resolution must, within 5 days after the adoption of the resolution, send a certified copy of the resolution to the school board of the other affected district and to DPI. {Wis. Stats. 117.13(2)}

Click on the following link to locate samples of orders and resolutions for school district reorganization. It is recommended that school boards fill out three duplicate originals, keeping one, sending one to the other district, and sending one as notification to DPI. If you send DPI a photocopy of the original, a Certificate of True Copy is needed to verify the accuracy of the property description.

For questions about this information, contact Janice Zmrazek (608) 266-2803